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About Me

Found 341 results

  1. Brothers and sisters, this is just a warm up for all of us. Do not always believe in what you hear. (Read the article:
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    ) Follow the proper channel and remember the moral lesson of 1Ki 13:11-24. If there's anything that the GB needs us to know, there will be a letter to the elders. By doing so, we don't spread any rumours because if we do, we are actually going against the spirit. Note: we always see many asking if there were any letters or bethel 'morning worship' announcements, stating not to mention in social media.
  2. Moscow (CNN)The thousands of Russians who took to the streets over the weekend may not have vented their fury directly at Vladimir Putin, but the President certainly took note of the message. After the largest mass demonstrations in years, when crowds across the country took part in anti-corruption rallies, the Interior Ministry has warned that it will use the full extent of its powers to confront any future unauthorized gatherings. Opposition supporters take part in the anti-corruption rally in central Moscow. But the warning has not impressed or deterred a younger generation of protesters who are fed up with rampant nepotism, exasperated by the lack of accountability, and stifled by the lack of opportunities on offer in Russia today. Their grievances are directed less at Putin himself than at a system that has institutionalized graft and accelerated inequality. In some ways they are reminiscent of the frustration of younger, educated Arabs in Cairo and Tunis in 2011, but it is unclear if Russia's anti-corruption movement can effect real change. Riot police officers detain a protester during the rally in Moscow. In Moscow, where the largest of dozens of protests took place, at least 500 people were detained -- carried and frog-marched into police vehicles. The authorities had warned that the rally, called by opposition leader Alexey Navalny, was against the law. A young geologist called Sergey Pravov was among those arrested. "We started singing the national anthem," he told CNN. He added with a smile: "We just got to the 'free country' part, when we were taken by the police and thrown into the bus." He told CNN that young people had taken part because they "are tired of the impunity of officials and their children and relatives who can get away with anything. " "They are tired of living below the poverty line while people they pay to rule wisely are swimming in gold," Pravov says. Continue reading
  3. The Ockermans attend a Jehovah’s Witness Russian congregation in Keizer
  4. Sergei Khudiev WHY JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES SHOULD NOT BE PROSECUTED by Sergei Khudiev Pravoslavie i Mir, 21 March 2017 News wires have reported that the Ministry of Justice has filed in the Supreme Court for the prohibition in the country of the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, after the discovery during an inspection of violations of anti-extremism legislation. So they are, of course, heretics, but their possible ban should not be rejoiced over. Really, the teachings of the Jehovah's Witnesses are a serious heresy, distorting the apostolic proclamation to the point of complete unrecognizability. In their bizarre theological system, Jesus is neither God nor man. According to their doctrine, he is the Archangel Michael, who temporarily assumed (and then renounced) a human body. It was the archangel, and not God, who acted in the role of our Redeemer and it was he who assumed the role of Lord and Judge. However, the analysis of the fantastically unbiblical construction of the "Governing Body," as the leadership of Jehovah's Witnesses calls itself, is not the point of this article. The question that the actions of the Ministry of Justice places before us is different. Should we welcome that the state is prosecuting heretics? The answer that for many of us jumps out "by default" is: "Of course! Heretics are enemies of the true faith; it is good that the government will find them. It's long past time." However, experience shows that the answers "by default," especially when they are dictated by hostility to someone, almost always turn out to be incorrect. We live in a fallen world where, by Richard Niebuhr's apt statement, "evil infects any scalpel by which one attempts to cut it out." Measures taken for eradicating some evil may, in and of themselves, be a yet worse evil. This happens very often—the side effects of medicines kill the patient more quickly than the disease itself. Simple decisions—accept and forbid—may be monstrously unsuccessful. We recall for example the experience of the dry law in the USA—there was alcoholism and it remains a social plague practically everywhere and it seems it is necessary simply to show decisiveness and forbid this evil. But alas, the ban led only to the flourishing of moonshine, contraband, and criminal syndicates dealing in alcohol, and in the end it was necessary to abolish it. "Extremism" can also be ascribed to the church Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses engenders a number of serious side effects. And the first of these is the actual curtailment of freedom of religious confession. This freedom means that a person may be a heretic and this will not affect his relations with the state in any way. The state does not interfere in the religious life of citizens. All are free to believe or not believe as they think right. Why is such freedom necessary? For a whole number of reasons. I will begin with the simplest and crudest. The state that pursues heretics thereby assumes the power to decide who is a heretic here. Many Orthodox martyrs suffered under Christian emperors of the Eastern Roman empire, when emperors—usually for their own political reasons—decided to support heresy. Indeed, today there have developed quite cordial relations between the church and the state. Just like when Joseph had excellent relations with the pharaoh. But then "there arose another ruler who did not know Joseph," and the people of God faced persecution. There where the security of the church depends on personal benevolence of powerful persons, everything may change in the most sudden way. Ascribing "extremism" to the church may be done with the same success as to heresy. The church resolutely insists on the unique truth of its teaching and criticizes other teaching as mistaken (I even began this article with criticism), and supports practices which could be declared to be "extremist,"—monasticism, for example. Opponents should show a very little ingenuity, and we hear that the church threatens the life and health of its members, for example by praising women who do not want to have an abortion for medical indications. It is always possible to find some individual instances of stupidity or abuse—like some elder who "does not bless" an operation or chemotherapy, as it is also possible to unleash them during a media campaign. The mechanisms of unscrupulous polemics, alas, have already been worked out, and there is nothing simpler than to employ them against the church. Like the mechanisms of judicial persecution—we all who have faith in the uniqueness of Christ are extremists, and we are not held accountable merely because now we have good relations with the state. But that is now. There is no guarantee that this will not change. Therefore it is very important to defend freedom of conscience--nobody should be persecuted for his religion. Nobody should be forbidden to believe as he thinks right. The church will be in the greatest security—and in the best conditions for its ministry—when the principle of religious liberty is firmly rooted in society and the law. Second, the blurring of the concept of "extremism" is in and of itself dangerous. I do not know that they have organized any terrorist acts committed by the Islamic State or insurrections; nor have they been seen in any violence that would require restraint on the part of the government. If it is possible to declare "extremist" a person who has not thought about any villainy and rebellion, but who simply has strange theological views, then the very concept of "extremism" becomes a universal bludgeon, with which to beat whom one will. It is always better to live under law and not under a bludgeon. Human conscience belongs to God and not the state Another, more principled, reason that freedom of conscience is important is the affirmation of the dominion of God. Human conscience belongs to God and not to the state. A person answers for his faith (or unbelief) before God. If he is deceived, he is deceived before God. If he is justified, he is justified before God. His faith is the object of the secret providence of God and of the path by which God leads this very soul, and here the appearance of a gendarme with orders "you must not believe thus, but otherwise" is simply monstrously inappropriate. What is appropriate here is the appearance of a churchman, layman, or priest who kindly and with love helps a person to find his way to truth. A gendarme who climbs with his boots into a believing heart produces the opposite effect; he only strengthens people in their convictions. Isn't it written in the Bible that the true believers will be persecuted? Many times. Are we persecuted and hated? Indeed here are new confirmations. Consequently the conclusion is drawn: we are true believers and everything in our life happens in accordance with scripture. Of course, this logic is mistaken. People may persecute one another for the most various reasons, including those not related to truth. But emotionally, is a person faces hostility, rejection, unjust accusations, he seeks for himself psychological compensation that he is suffering for the truth. His adherence to the doctrine for which troubles have arisen for him only grows. The more hostility a person sees from the external world, the more he values the atmosphere of warmth, acceptance, and approval that he finds in his congregation. There is a well known Scottish tale about how the wind and the sun argued about who could force a traveler to remove his wrap. No matter how hard the wind blew, the traveler only wrapped up more tightly. He took off his wrap only when the sun warmed him. To try to force people's conscience is morally bad and counterproductive. Know the church's teaching and be ready to explain deception Jehovah's Witnesses are people who undoubtedly are deceived. And their activity is a challenge for the church. But the proper reaction to this challenge is not to rejoice that the government is attacking them. The proper reaction is to know Sacred Scripture and the church's teaching and to be ready to gently explain to people just where they are mistaken, and why the church is right. And no less important is to display in one's life those fruits of the Holy Spirit about which the apostle speaks: "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, goodness, gentleness, faith," (Gal. 5.22). Many rank and file Jehovah's Witnesses are people who are sincerely and fervently seeking God and wishing to be pleasing to him. And if their, in and of itself, noble desire has gone astray, it is necessary gently and with respect to help them find the way and not to smother the desire itself. As the 35th answer from "Answers of Saint Varsonofey and Ioann to disciples' questions" says, "Do not force arbitrariness but this (word) with hope. Our Lord did not force anybody, but preached the gospel; and whoever wished took heed." ------------------- Baptist clergyman speaks up for Jehovah's Witnesses INTERVIEW: WITH PASTOR VITALY VLASENKO Former chairman of Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists Portal-Credo.ru, 24 March 2017 --Portal-Credo.ru: How do you evaluate the decision of the Ministry of Justice regarding an appeal in court with a lawsuit for the liquidation of organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses throughout Russia and the suspension of the activity of their Administrative Center? --Vitaly Vlasenko: This is a very irrational and dangerous step by the Ministry of Justice. In this way the state is interfering in the life of a religious organization. And the Russian constitution guarantees to each person free confession of their faith. And nothing is said there about just what kind of faith: correct or incorrect. Therefore such a precedent is very frightening and raises the question: who is next? --What kind of legal and moral qualifications can you give for these actions of the authorities? --I consider that these actions of the Ministry of Justice are mistaken and violate the constitution of the Russian federation. In other words, the Ministry of Justice began to divide religious people into desirable and undesirable or into correct believers and incorrect believers. What will prevent these same bureaucrats tomorrow from condemning, for example, Evangelical Christians-Baptists, Old Believers, or Catholics? I consider such an approach to be radically incorrect. Interviewer: Vladimir Oivin -------------------- Respected lawyer reflects on history of Jehovah's Witnesses VLADIMIR RIAKHOVSKY: "IT ALWAYS BEGAN WITH JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES AND THEN IT WAS REFLECTED ON EVERYBODY" Video by Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 27 March 2017 One of the first laws of the new Russia was the law of 18 October 1991 regarding rehabilitation of victims of political repression. Those who fell within the scope of rehabilitation were those who had been subjected to exile. It was to Jehovah's Witnesses that this pertained in the main. That was the year 1991. What has changed in this time? Have Jehovah's Witnesses changed? No. What has changed in our state in this time? Otherwise how can one explain this thoughtless, to put it mildly, act on the part of the Ministry of Justice which turned into issuing this lawsuit for the liquidation and prohibition of the activity of Jehovah's Witnesses? What kind of consequences might be if this lawsuit were to be granted? According to the Criminal Code, responsibility has been established for participating in the activity that is forbidden as an extremist organization or for organizing this activity and these are such severe sanctions: for participating, from 2 to 6 years incarceration, and for organizing, from 6 to 10 years. Are there really no controlling or supervisory agencies standing behind this lawsuit? Really no analysts there? No experts? Is there really nobody who can say today what this will lead to tomorrow? Well the first step has been made. The next steps—they will follow from what has already been done. If they ban today, then what does that mean should be tomorrow? There should be criminal prosecutions. Now many are commenting on current circumstances with respect to your religious association. They say: "Come now! It isn't likely that someone will go to this. What, will lock ups really start?" I say that this will simply be inevitable. There has already been a pilot case. You will recall that in 2015 in Taganrog, where in 2009 a local congregation was banned, in 2012 a surveillance recording was made, establishing the fact of the conduct of a meeting, and a case was initiated, the case dragged on a long time, and in the end, in 2015, came the court's sentence. And even if there just were fines and even if it was a suspended prison term, there were convictions. Here it was a kind of, one may say, touchstone. And what is now? It isn't Taganrog now. It is not an isolated congregation. This is now throughout Russia. What is it? Throughout Russia now will there be imprisonments? They are inevitable, if today . . . Well, today there is still time to rethink--less than two weeks remain—rethink and put a stop to it. And probably it would be more noble to take a step back, because the consequences of this, what could be, are unpredictable. Many now think that Jehovah's Witnesses have fallen into the list of inconvenient people and this does not affect us; then it seems to me we should not be in delusion. And again, simply look a bit into history, into the history of persecution for religious convictions. It always began with the Jehovah's Witnesses, and then it was reflected onto everybody. It happens, probably, what can one say: "Take care of the Jehovah's Witnesses." Because this will all turn against the rest. And now this is where I started—about recognizing the victims of political repressions. At that time, in 1991, these very Jehovah's Witnesses were given certificates, such beautiful booklets, that they were thus recognized as victims of political repression. And with these certificates came certain privileges. But what of today? Go back and revise the law on rehabilitation? Maybe rescind it? Or simply have the Witnesses collect all these certifications and give them back? I would very much like to believe that still common sense and justice will prevail.
  5. Source: United States Senator for Mississippi Roger Wicker Headline: Helsinki Commission Condemns Pending Legal Action against Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia WASHINGTON — Following the Russian government’s request for its Supreme Court to effectively ban Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia from worshipping, claiming that they are members of an “extremist organization,” Helsinki Commission Chairman Sen. Roger Wicker (MS), Co-Chairman Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), and Commissioner Rep. Richard Hudson (NC-08), issued the following statements: “It is wrong to apply flawed counterterrorism laws to those who seek to practice their faith,” said Chairman Wicker. “The Russian government is exploiting genuine threats of violent extremism to undermine what little religious freedom remains in that country. This distracts from real efforts to fight terrorism. I urge the Russian government to drop the case immediately.” “At stake in the upcoming court case is the legality and perhaps the survival of the Jehovah’s Witnesses – and in fact basic religious freedom – throughout the Russian Federation,” said Co-Chairman Smith. “If the Supreme Court of Russia declares this faith group an extremist organization, it is an ominous sign for all believers and it marks a dark, sad day for all Russians.” “As a staunch supporter of religious liberty, I am appalled by the Russian government treating an entire religious group as a threat to national security,” said Commissioner Hudson. “Religious affiliation should never be a justification for persecution.” On March 15, the Russian Ministry of Justice filed a formal court claim to label the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia an extremist group and liquidate their national headquarters and 395 local chapters, known as “local religious organizations.” Should the Russian Supreme Court decide against the Administrative Center, 175,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia could face criminal prosecution for practicing their faith. According to the Helsinki Final Act signed by all 57 participating states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe – including Russia – “participating States will recognize and respect the freedom of the individual to profess and practice, alone or in community with others, religion or belief acting in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience.”
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  6. Guest


    If you want to help about 200,000 of Russian Jehovah's Witnesses avoid being jailed on false, unjust, and absurd grounds, please join our campaign to promote the hashtag #StopJWBan across Twitter and any other social media. This would be our version of the global letter-writing campaign to Mr. Putin. You can post a suitable video (like this one), a piece from Jehovah's Witnesses websites, or anything you want to share, adding this hashtag. The more people will do it, the more likely it will appear in top Twitter trends, and this will create a powerful information wave. Ask power Twitter users and/or bloggers that you know to do the same. Don't stand apart, help us spread the word!You may just click on this button to tweet instantly: #StopJWBan #StopJWBan (Russian)
  7. FILE – A group of Jehovah’s Witnesses, right, sit in court during their trial in Moscow, Russia Wednesday, Feb. 10, 1999. At the time, a city court resumed a case on banning Jehovah’s Witnesses’ from Moscow. Russia’s Justice Ministry filed a case with the Supreme Court to declare the administrative center for Russia’s Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization on March 15, 2017. (Associated Press) Spokane-area Jehovah’s Witnesses are mailing letters to Russian government officials, including President Vladimir Putin, in protest of an attempt to label the Russian arm of their church an extremist organization. “This is not the first time we’ve engaged in letter writing campaigns,” said Doug Hardy, a spokesman for Spokane-area Witnesses. Russia’s Justice Ministry filed a case with the Supreme Court to declare the administrative center for Russia’s Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization on March 15. The filing was reported on the court’s website, but did not give further details or say when the matter might be heard. “We’re very concerned about what will happen to our fellow Witnesses in Russia,” Hardy said. A statement from the religion’s Russian branch said a declaration that Jehovah’s Witnesses are extremists would “entail disastrous consequences for freedom of religion in Russia.” The church estimates it has about 175,000 followers in Russia. If the designation is approved the government could seize property owned by the the Jehovah’s Witnesses, according to a news release from the church. The church asked the more than 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world to mail letters to various leaders in Russian government protesting the declaration. According to the Jehovah’s Witnesses website the church undertook a similar global letter writing campaign 20 years ago, also aimed at Russian government officials. The Russian supreme court is expected to rule on the claim April 5, according to a Jehovah’s Witnesses news release. The church is asking that all letters be sent by Saturday. In the Spokane Coeur d’Alene area Hardy estimates that there are 2,000 Jehovah Witnesses. He believes most of them will send letters. “There could be several thousand letters coming just from the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area,” he said. Spokane-area Jehovah’s Witnesses held a regional convention in Spokane last summer. In Russia the Jehovah’s Witnesses have come under increasing pressure in recent years, including a ban on distributing literature deemed to violate Russia’s anti-extremism laws. In February, investigators conducted an inspection of the religion’s headquarters in St. Petersburg. Hardy said the Jehovah’s Witnesses have long fought for freedom of religion, both in the United States and abroad. “We just want to be able to exercise our freedom of religion as we have in every place in the world,” Hardy said. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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  8. ON WAY TO RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION: AS UNDER STALIN, RUSSIA PREPARES A TOTAL BAN OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES by Vladimir Riakhovsky Religiia i Pravo, 21 March 2017 Back in 2009 Russian authorities began a wide-spread persecution of congregations of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Since then, 15 congregations have been liquidated and ruled to be "extremist" and Jehovah's Witnesses' magazines and brochures have been ruled to be "extremist" on completely absurd bases, and people have acted as experts who do not have the appropriate academic level. Along with numerous accusations, believers have been accused of quoting Leo Tolstoy, where he presented his understanding of the "evangelical faith." In 2016, in Vyborg, an attempt was made to prevent the import of Bibles in the Jehovah's Witnesses' translation. It would seem that it is not possible to become more absurd, but the absurd has been turned into tragedy. On 15 March 2017 the Ministry of Justice of the RF sent to the Supreme Court of the RF a lawsuit for the liquidation of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia and a ban on the activity of the religious organization for extremism. The Jehovah's Witnesses said that they expected this a year ago. That was when the Administrative Center, which is located outside St. Petersburg in the village of Solnechnoe, received a warning about the impermissibility of extremist activity. It was issued by the office of the prosecutor general on 2 March 2016 (over the signature of deputy prosecutor V.Ya. Grin), and then after a year there continued a careful monitoring of the documentation of the organization (completed on 27 February 2017). On 16 January 2017 the city court of Moscow recognized the warning of the prosecutor general's office to be legal. The Russian prosecutor general's office maintained that "the structural subdivisions of the organization engaged, as before, in extremist activity," that is, it was already completely clear that it was necessary to prove the "criminality" of the Jehovah's Witnesses. It should be noted that the problem of the absence of evidence has not prevented law enforcement agencies and courts from making decisions with regard to the prohibition of whole religious congregations. A rather primitive scheme was used for prosecution of Jehovah's Witnesses, which was effective only with regard to legally existing and law abiding organizations. The Jehovah's Witnesses' strict submission to law and, at the same time, their independence angered both Stalin and Hitler. In the first place, several issues of the magazine Watchtower were banned, which was widely distributed throughout the world and in every congregation. Second, on far-fetched bases, searches were conducted in Kingdom Halls, places where believers congregated, where law enforcement agents suddenly found "forbidden magazines." There now are several video tapes of these searches, taken by Jehovah's Witnesses, where it is obvious that police and security personnel brought "extremist" literature and placed it in the most surprising places (under shelves, in cloak rooms, so that believers would not find them). Third, the distribution and storage of such "extremist" literature automatically makes congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses "dangerous." Depending on the region, believers were fined or congregations were banned. The tragedy is that several dozen searches and hundreds of inspections of believers were conducted by people who are supposed to legally observe the constitution and the law on freedom of conscience, but who strive to make their own fellow citizens "extremists." Already in 2016 in Taganrog they began condemning whole families of believers—16 persons were sentenced to various penalties for participation in the activity of a forbidden organization (by the efforts of the prosecutor's office and the Orthodox deanery the organization in this city was ruled extremist, but the Jehovah's Witnesses assembled for reading the Bible). In particular, 4 persons received suspended sentences. In 2016 five local congregations were also liquidated in various cities. And so, a ban on the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, if the Supreme Court of the RF makes such a decision, will outlaw about 180 thousand Russian citizens, members of congregations and groups, and it will launch a process of automatic liquidation of 400 organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses. The activity of small religious groups (about 2,000 of them) will be prosecuted. Russian citizens who read the Bible and believe in their own way in the God Jehovah will be subject to the harshest criminal prosecution. The SOVA center, headed by Alexander Verkhovsky, a member of the Council for Human Rights under the Russian president, has already published its opinion about the consequences of such a decision: "Russia risks taking the path of totalitarian regimes of the Soviet Union and the Third Reich, which persecuted Jehovah's Witnesses in criminal proceedings all the way to lengthy prison terms in the USSR and dispatch to extermination camps in nazi Germany." Prosecution of peaceful believers on the basis of anti-extremism legislation is based on outright falsifications, the unprofessionalism of individual "experts," and as a result on judicial mistakes. But that is not the only issue. For Russia, prosecution of believers, including Jehovah's Witnesses, is the continuation of historical tragedy—the persecutions of the 20th century. From 1949 to 1952, tens of thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses were exiled to Siberia (the most famous was operation "North" with the resettlement of more than 8,000 believers). The head of the Governing Body of the Jehovah's Witnesses, Vasily Kalin, said: "For more than 100 years now the authorities in Russia have violated their own legislation which guarantees us this right. In stalinist times, when I was still a boy, our whole family was exiled to Siberia simply because we were Jehovah's Witnesses. It is a shame and sad that my children and grandchildren will have to confront something similar." The Jehovah's Witnesses sent a letter to the head of the Russian presidential Council for Development of Institutions of Civil Society and Human Rights, Mikhail Fedotova: "Under the guise of operational search activity, officials have infringed upon the personal inviolability of believers (use of force, removal to police stations, personal search, coercion of photographing), on the inviolability of privacy (collection of information about persons professing the religion of the Jehovah's Witnesses and about their property), and on the inviolability of residence. . . . Put a stop to insanity while it still can be stopped!" It is possible to treat Jehovah's Witnesses in different ways and not agree with them on theological matters, but they have the right to believe as they wish. Moreover, they are being convicted for what they, I am deeply convinced, did not do. They will defend their rights in the European Court for Human Rights, and Russia will again appear in the international arena as a state that does not take into account the fundamental rights of its citizens. Following the fines on the basis of the anti-evangelism Yarovaya Law (for "religious propaganda" as in soviet times), in the near future believers in our country may appear in prisons also. Jehovah's Witnesses will not hide in the underground (as it was also both in Germany in the 1930s and in the USSR); special services find it almost impossible to inject their agents into their ranks (even in soviet times this was accomplished with difficulty). This organization has become a living example of how unceremoniously authorities can treat believers in a time when the surrounding society remains silent. Vladimir Vasilievich Riakhovsky is an attorney and member of the Council for Development of Civil Society and Human Rights under the president of the RF.
  9. Putin Regime Bans Jehovah’s Witnesses The Russian justice ministry has closed down all Jehovah’s Witness organizations as extremist threats, a step that their leaders say puts Russia today on track to be like Nazi Germany where Jehovah’s Witnesses were among the first to be confined to German concentration camps. EuromaidanPress
  10. Volcano spews huge ash clouds in Russian Kamchatka in surprise eruption after 250 years of silence The Kambalny volcano, located in the Yuzhno-Kamchatsky wildlife preserve in Kamchatka, showed activity on Saturday after first rumbling a day earlier, for the first time in around 250 years. World News
  11. [Box on page 20] A Powerful Message The tract Could It Happen Again? A Question for the Citizens of Russia clearly shows the public that Jehovah’s Witnesses are not extremists. Could It Happen Again? - A Question For the Citizens of Russia - 2009 wt 2011 *** w11 A Peaceable People Defend Their Good Name ***
  12. Altre foto da tutto il mondo, Internet è piena, la campagna globale invio di lettere alla Russia. (Traduzione: Google) thank you @kurt
  13. Fotos adicionais de todo o mundo, a internet está cheia, a campanha global enviando cartas para a Rússia. (Tradução: google) thank you @kurt
  14. RUSSIAN JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES LAUNCH HASHTAG IN SOCIAL NETWORKS BECAUSE OF THREAT OF BANNING THEIR ACTIVITY IN THE COUNTRY Portal-Credo.ru, 25 March 2017 Late in March Russian Jehovah's Witnesses began a campaign for promoting on the Internet the hashtag #StopJWBan in order to attract attention to the threat of a ban on their confession. Thanks to the action, in just one day almost 20 thousand persons viewed on YouTube a video appeal of Vasily Kalin, the director of the Administrative Center of their confession, a Portal-Credo.ru correspondent reports. "They don't let us defend ourself in courts and they do not admit us to major news media. Only the Internet remains," the campaign on the website, stopjwban.blogspot.com, says. The action is actively connected to believers beyond the boundaries of the country. Twitter users from various countries have published on the aforementioned hashtag photographs of their own letters to Russian authorities, the American president, the United Nations, and other international organizations. The hearing in the Supreme Court of the RF on the lawsuit of the justice ministry is scheduled for 5 April, which requests declaring the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses to be "extremist" and liquidating it. ------------------ Rights advocate fears criminalization of tens of thousands believers BAN OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES AND DECLARATION OF THIS ORGANIZATION AS EXTREMIST VIOLATE FREEDOM OF RELIGION Echo of Moscow, 17 March 2017 Consideration of the lawsuit of the Russian Ministry of Justice for ruling the "Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia" to be an extremist organization and for liquidating it and banning its activity on the territory of the country has been scheduled by the Supreme Court of the RF for 5 April Granting the lawsuit by the court will be an act that is unconstitutional and a violation of freedom of religious confession. This opinion was expressed on a broadcast of radio station Echo of Moscow by the director of the SOVA Center for News and Analysis, Alexander Verkhovsky. "Of course this violates freedom of religious confession, because there already have been many bans of local organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses and prohibition of their brochures, texts, and website. And they are considered to be extremist simply because they themselves consider that their religion is best of all. Speaking frankly, this is a bit wild," he said. A. Verkhovsky emphasized that the ban of the Administrative Center will entail the automatic ban of all local organizations. "Believers are not going anywhere from this, they will all still gather together, and all this activity can be viewed as a criminal offense. I do not rule out that such measures will be applied. It will turn out that more than 100,000 persons will prove to be in some sense criminals although they do not intend to commit a crime. I think that somebody needs to intervene now. The prosecutor general's office has gone much too far," he concluded. ------------------ Another rights advocate speaks out for Jehovah's Witnesses AFTER THE BAN OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES WE WILL GET 170,000 PRISONERS FOR FAITH IN RUSSIA Blog of Oleg Kozyrev, 17 March 2017 The Ministry of Justice has requested closing the chief organization of Jehovah's Witnesses. The old accusations are extremism and other furious passions. Jehovah's Witnesses belong to the so-called new religions. Neither the traditional Christian confessions nor protestants acknowledge them as their own. Like Mormons, Jehovists incorporate some Christian teaching, but beyond that they add much of their own. The greatest criticism is evoked by the point that Jehovists, alone of the major confessions, simply take and rewrite the Bible in their own way. This is the so-called "New World Translation," in which everything that does not conform to the teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses is casually corrected. Well, the doctrinal difference of Jehovists from ordinary Christians is great. At the same time, everybody recognizes that the Jehovah's Witnesses preach possibly more than all religious movements. Their life is, on the whole, pious. They do not drink, smoke, or take drugs, and they are faithful to their wives and husbands and are good fathers and mothers. On the personal level, all have different experiences of discourse with Jehovists. But on the whole their situation does not differ in any way from representatives of other confessions. Some Jehovists are more reserved and some are more congenial and social, generally like everybody. Problems with the surrounding setting and with the state arise for the Jehovists only on two issues. First, they do not accept blood transfusion, since they believe that this is a form of cannibalism. Second, they do not engage in politics, nor serve in the army, nor celebrate holidays. It is easiest to criticize Jehovists for refusing blood transfusion. But let's be honest, there are in the world thousands of various religions and many of them have various strange restrictions. Jehovists do not damage bodies, nor restrict nourishment for themselves and their children, nor practice monasticism and withdrawal from the world. They work, study, live, and proclaim. Why imprison them merely for their faith? I recall that even during World War II, Hitler was not able to break Jehovists by torture and concentration camps. Many of them perished in ovens and gas chambers, but they did not betray their faith and did not take up arms. I do not think that the Ministry of Justice will manage to frighten them if Hitler could not. We will get 170,000 (the approximate number of Jehovists in Russia) prisoners of conscience, who are imprisoned merely for faith. And there may be some number of additional broken fates. Christians have a dark cloud of criticisms of Jehovists. But that is our "disputes." Everything can be clarified through preaching, through criticism, through apologetics. Why involve the government? The Jehovists are not some kind of dark forest. They have been in the world for many years and they are in almost all countries. Let's admit that they are a rather ordinary religion. Sure, somebody is annoyed that they are ringing the doorbell. But if one realizes that among them there are former drug addicts and alcoholics who could ring the doorbell for entirely different reasons—then it is better to let the Jehovists ring the bell. For the fact that people are striving for a proper life—for that they should not be punished. There is also one other rather sticky issue. Because of their faith, Jehovah's Witnesses cannot, on principle, defend themselves in any way politically, since they do not participate in politics. They are not Mormons with their own state of Utah; they are not Disciples of Christ or Baptists with their own presidents leading the USA. In principle Jehovists do not have political forces that could protect them. And of course Christian confessions love to exploit these, who have such representation and who have their own teeth for this effect. I will not talk about other confessions. Perhaps if they were banned, their people would flee. But as to Jehovah's Witnesses, we know what will happen. The majority of them will not renounce their faith. So what then—send them to the camps? And repeat what the fascists did? Think about it: do we need to break the life of 170,000 persons?
  15. cocorocha We live at a time in history when those of different religious groups, beliefs and lifestyles often find themselves unwelcome in a great many places around the world. I've had the great privilege of studying the Bible at local meetings of Jehovah's Witnesses in many countries. In every land, the teachings of love and peace are always consistent and have truly made me a better wife, mother and citizen. The Ministry of Justice in Russia recently filed a claim with the Supreme Court seeking to declare #JehovahsWitnesses as an "extremist organization" and to ban their activities. Respectfully, I feel this is an egregious misapplication. Jehovah’s Witnesses are known around the world as peaceful and respectful citizens of which ever country we live in. Globally we encourage love of God, love of family and love of neighbor, regardless of background, faith or belief. Under no circumstances would we ever resort to any activity that could legitimately be construed as “extremist” or criminal in nature. This was legally established in the 2010 ruling on our behalf by the European Court of Human Rights. On April 6th this new case against Jehovah's Witnesses will be decided in Russia and I do hope that when I next come to visit that country for work, that myself and the more then 170,000 Witnesses who live in Russia will maintain the same religious freedoms and liberty that are afforded to other organizations. To think that we could be criminally prosecuted, merely for meeting for worship, reading the Bible together, or talking to others about our faith would indeed be a great miscarriage of justice - Coco Rocha
  16. Tour of the Russia Branch (2014)
      Hello guest!
  17. PETITION FILED FOR SPACIOUS COURTROOM AND VIDEOTAPING IN HEARINGS IN SUPREME COURT OF RUSSIA Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 23 March 2017 On 21 March 2017 the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia sent to the Supreme Court of Russia a petition that for the hearing on the lawsuit of the Russian Ministry of Justice a courtroom for the sessions capable of accommodating 200 and more persons be provided and also that there be provided the possibility for persons present in the courtroom to make video recordings of the judicial session. "In and of itself the submission of such an unprecedented petition to the court is for Russia an extraordinary event, attention to which is riveted not only in all of Russia but throughout the world also, since Jehovah's Witnesses are not only a well known and recognized religion in Russia but also a famous Christian religion worldwide, that is professed in an overwhelming majority of countries and territories of the world. After the posting of the aforementioned information on the website of the Supreme Court of the RF, the Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia received numerous requests for clarification of the date and time of the hearing from representatives of local religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses, state bodies, news media, rights advocacy organizations, representatives of embassies of various countries, believers, and other persons," one of the petitions says. "Orally they express their desire to be immediately present for the consideration of this case." The hearings will begin on 5 April 2017 at 10:00 in the Supreme Court of Russia, located at the address: Moscow, ul. Povarskaia, 13. The closest metro stations are Barrikadnaia and Arbatskaia.
  18. March 21, 2017 DOCUMENT: URGENT VIDEO APPEAL OF VASILY KALIN IN CONNECTION WITH LAWSUIT TO BAN JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES Unprecedented news has become the occasion for this appeal. The Ministry of Justice has taken it upon itself to close and to declare criminal a whole religion—the Jehovah's Witnesses. A lawsuit has already been filed in the Supreme Court of Russia. They ask for the supreme measure of punishment for all 396 of our organizations, including our Administrative Center. We are talking about their liquidation and finding them to be extremist. A special point is to confiscate from believers all of their houses of worship and other property. While the Ministry of Justice wants to do this immediately. For 175 thousand adherents of our religion, they are possibly facing the most trying period of their life. I recall the April night in 1951. At the time eight and a half thousand believers of our religion, that is, practically ALL, were deprived of their homes and taken to Siberia for permanent settlement. The life of thousands of believer was irreparably broken. Hundreds and hundreds passed through the camps. But they did not renounce their faith. And they did not become bitter. They always remained peaceful people, as Christ also commanded. Subsequently the state recognized us as victims of political repressions. And how blasphemously we again find ourselves in the position of dangerous criminals! If the Ministry of Justice achieves its [goal], believers will face up to 10 years in prison! Recently, after the liquidation of a registered congregation in Taganrog, 16 of our brothers and sisters in the faith were sentenced to large fines and several even to a 5-year suspended prison term—just for joint reading of the Bible. A new indictment may lead them to real prison terms. For what? What are these people guilty of? That they, as seems to somebody, study the Bible "incorrectly"? That they consider their faith the only truth? Or are they guilty of not resorting to violence, following the gospel command ment: "put the sword into its sheath"? The accusation of Jehovah's Witnesses for extremism is absurd and savage. We ask you who may influence the course of events, look the facts in the face objectively and impartially. Finally, we are reminded of an episode described in the Acts of the Apostles. Christians were condemned on false charges. One of the judges of the Supreme Court, the Sanhedrin, said of them to his colleagues: "Leave these people in peace; let them go. If their aim and their act is from man, it will die of itself; but if it is of God, you will not be able to destroy them. And you would turn out to be fighting against God himself!" (Acts 5:38,39) Vasily Kalin Chairman of Governing Body of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia Russian transcription posted on website of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 21 March 2017

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